Children suffering hearing loss - tympanostomy and grommets may be unnecessary

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Glue ear is a condition in children where fluid collects near the ear drum and interferes with transmission of sound waves to the brain.

The operation usually performed in instances of glue ear is called a tympanostomy. Commonly, a surgeon makes a hole in the ear drum and inserts a grommet - or tube - to drain the middle ear and allow air in.

As a procedure, it's not entirely without controversy - new evidence suggests that for a proportion of children suffering hearing loss, tympanostomy and grommets may be unnecessary.